Lost my little buddy(8 Posts)
I'm not sure what I am wanting from posting this, I probaby just need to write it down. I have really repressed my emotions about it and don't think I'm coping as well as I thought I was.
Some back story; up until about a month ago I had 2 cats. Older cat was about 14 and younger cat is 3. The 14yo cat I have had ever since I moved out of my parents. She was my aunties cat but they had to get rid of her as a kitten because my cousin had allergies to her.
About 2 years ago the older cat had an accident. To this day I still don't know what happened to her and I suppose it doesn't matter now. It was a warm night in summer and she wouldn't come in when I called her before I went to bed. This didn't sit well with me because she was generally an indoors cat and doesn't spend long times outside. But with it being such a warm night I figured maybe she's just having a good time and left her to it.
First thing in the morning I shouted her and she came straight away, but i could tell something was wrong. Her head was down as she skulked in and her tail was limp and dragging along the floor. She couldn't move it. She didn't react if I touched it. She had a slight scrape on the base of her back just above her tail. Upon taking her to the vets they x rays her and told us her spine had detached at the base of her tail and they had to amputate it. They warned me that there would be extensive nerve damage and that nerves in this area controlled her bowels and bladder, and its very highly likely she would not fully recover. I said we have to at least try. And so we did.
She recovered from the surgery and had to have her bladder empted manually at the vets each day for about a week, before she eventually managed to pee all by herself (on my pillow) never been so happy to have pee on the bed!
The next year was ok. She managed with her bodily functions well and got on with life and I thought she was all sorted. However, sadly, she slowly started slipping worse and worse. She started getting bunged up, so much so she physically couldn't pass what had built up. I started having to take her for enemas. First time there was 6 months she was ok, then 2 months, then a month, then it started happening every other week. Each time it cost £200 for the clear out plus a very upset and sore kitty. During this time I had given birth to my first child, and was really struggling to cope with caring for both cats as well as my newborn. Because of the older cats medication she was very loose and dripped poo all over the house. She soiled the carpet/door mat/laminate daily so I was constantly mopping, shampooing, decontaminating.. And perhaps most painful of all struggling to give her as much affection as I used to. Partly because of BFing baby and having my hands full, but also because she always had liquid poop on her bottom so I couldnt let her on the sofa or on my knee. I cleaned her up but it would come straight back as she was on so much laxatives to prevent her getting a blockage. I would always pet her and talk to her when I walked past or if she came up to me but it always felt like affection at arms length compared to before, when she would always be on my knee, and slept on top of me in bed. It breaks my heart when I think about it now.
About a month ago myself and DH decided the kindest thing was to let her go and have her pts. We couldn't afford the vets bills, she was weak, she had only just got over the last clear out from a week before and the vet said that every time we had it done it was slowly poisoning her organs. I've lost count of how many times she had to have it done over the last 2 years. At least 5 or 6 times.
So I held her and they did it and she went to sleep. I'll never forget her face at the end. She was so brave. She just accepted it and didn't struggle. I felt like I had betrayed her trust.
I was in bits the rest of the day. I broke down in the middle of the night and had to come downstairs so I wouldn't wake baby. Since then I have found the only way I can cope is to not think about her, which I recognise is awful, and feel guilty for essentially pretending she never existed in my head. When I find my mind wandering to her, or i see her empty collar, I try to change what I'm thinking to something else straight away.
I miss my little buddy. She was always there for me through dark times. She was like my shadow. I miss her following me around the garden and sitting next to me when I plant flowers. And God how I miss feeling her warmth curled up on top of me at bed time. I'd lay there still even if I was uncomfortable so I wouldn't disturb her, then jokingly moan about it in the morning to DH when I had cramp. I'll never forgive myself for letting her stay out that summer night.
Sorry for the long post. And thank you for reading if you made it to the end.
OP, you did far more for her than many cat-lovers - myself included - would have done. You ended things when she no longer had any quality of life. You loved her right to the end and she was very lucky to have you as an owner.
Oh my lovely. You didn't betray her trust at all. You did everything you could for your darling cat. She accepted it because she was ready.
Im sorry for your loss.
Oh you poor thing. Such a hard decision to have to make but I'm sure you know it was the right one. Even without the financial aspect, cats hate being dirty and it was a kindness to have her put to sleep while she still had some quality of life.
I can understand the guilt about the original accident though, we lost a dog at the beginning of last year due to her being out with a dog walker. I still wish I'd walked her myself that day
I was quite depressed for about 3 months when we lost her, but time has helped me feel less sad and I can now look at photos of her without feeling sick.
And after having her in your life for 14 years, no wonder you miss her. What a hole she must have left in your life.
Be kind to yourself.
Thank you for sharing this. I work as a vet nurse and i can tell you that most owners would have given up on your cat long before you did. Your love for her allowed you to see past the practical difficulties but when it was all getting too much for her you knew the time had come.
I have to assist with euthanasia most days and I rarely , if ever, feel it is being done too soon. It is actually a privilege to be present at peoples dear pets passing and invariably i see relief and peace. I have to look after the animals afterwards and always treat them with care and respect as I feel strongly that their souls linger. There is freedom from pain and fear and there is a positive feeling.
You gave your lovely cat a happy life and were there with her until the end. You must only feel sadness that your friend has passed but no guilt as you did 100% the right thing.
Thank you for all your replies, I haven't really opened up to anyone about it all, I have just "got on with being a mum" and tried to push it back.
TheoriginalLEM thank you, I hope the nurse that cared for my cat was like you. That was one thing I was very anxious about; whether they would treat her body wuth dignity and respect. I was haunted by visions of her just being thrown into a bin or something
I couldn't do the job you do and you should be proud. What a wonderful attitude you have.
They will absolutely treat her well. We lost a cat to a road traffic accident. He was taken to the vets before we got home. They wrapped him up in a towel (like a baby in a blanket) and gave me the chance to say goodbye. They know each pet is a (hopefully) much loved family member and treat them accordingly.
Writing this down and reading these kind replies has really helped.
To five and wolfie I'm sorry to hear of your losses
The vets were very kind and sent a card with condolences afterwards, which set me off crying again! In time I'm sure it will get easier to remember her and feel happy for the good memories instead of just feeling loss and guilt.
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